Urban Planning is a process of guiding the use and development of land with the aim of making the city a better place to live and work. This is particularly important today as more than one-half of the world’s population now resides in urban places. Cities, towns and other urban forms are therefore the sites for most of mankind’s activities. Yet in most cities and towns, particularly those in developing countries, land and access to basic resources and services are usually scarce and unevenly distributed. Urban and regional planning is regarded as an important regulatory tool to balance economic, social and environmental needs arising from both local and global interests. This is especially important in the case of developing regions like the Caribbean that are being challenged to find new and effective solutions in balancing the drive for achieving economic growth against social and environmental concerns.
This course is designed to introduce students to the key theoretical and practical aspects of planning. Students will be exposed to a variety of contemporary and relevant planning issues ranging from technical concerns to social and environmental issues. The course will be divided into two main sections. The first section will examine some of the basic concepts and debates underlying the field of urban and regional planning. This part of the course will introduce students to planning and planning theory, the role of urban planners in land use management and the linkages between planning processes and development. The second part of the course will be an issue-based analysis of different planning issues that affect lives in modern-day societies. Various local, regional and international case studies will be discussed and analysed. The course will also touch on the political and regulatory framework in which planning takes place in the English speaking Caribbean. Current debates on land reclamation, urban renewal, local government reform, urban social movement, infrastructural development and new urbanism will also be explored.